2024 QSA Graduating Seniors

Congratulations to our fourth cohort of graduating seniors in the Quantitative Social Analysis Minor Program! 


Elena Gilbertson Hall
Major: Public Policy

Additional Minor: Creative Writing

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: I’ve always enjoyed math, and although I decided not to pursue it as a major in college, I knew I wanted to keep developing quantitative skills. The QSA minor felt like it perfectly combined my public policy/other social science interests with my enjoyment of quantitative methods.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: The QSA minor allowed me to build really tangible quantitative skills, like using R software and conducting statistical analyses, which I expect to be useful in many jobs moving forward.

Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I am moving to DC to work as an Associate at Boston Consulting Group. Long term, I hope to engage in social impact work, both in the public and private sectors, as well as pursue my creative writing interests.

Favorite minor class: Conflict: Root Causes, Consequences and Solutions for the Future was my favorite “applications” class because I was able to learn a lot about how conflict is studied empirically, and Professor Dube was wonderful. My favorite “skills” course was Applied Regression Analysis, because I built really tangible skills, and Professor Burbank did a great job of making the challenging material accessible.

Things to share with future minors: I recommend planning out your minor classes as far ahead as possible, because there are often classes only offered once a year, and doing some planning helps so that you can slowly complete the requirements over time rather than racing to the finish as a fourth year.


Christine Jonglertham
Major: Political Science

Additional minor: Statistics

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: I enjoyed being able to understand the methodology behind the journal articles and papers we read in class and wanted to build upon these studies. I loved how the QSA minor encouraged me to take classes in other departments and see how they each connected.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: Even if I don’t use hard quantitative skills in the future, the minor exercised how I break down concepts, contextualize results, and build evidence-backed arguments. Being able to understand applications of quantitative analysis in different fields is also helpful in learning how to communicate research, which is valuable for any field.

Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I’ll work as a paralegal for a DC firm’s nonprofits practice.
Did you have a favorite minor class? One of my favorite classes was Public Opinion with John Brehm. We connected theories of public opinion to survey methodology, which turned out to be relevant for my internship the following summer working on foreign policy surveys.

Things to share with future minors: Explore the classes! The QSA minor works with a lot of different majors and uniquely encourages you to explore different departments.






Zachary Leffel
Major: Political Science


Annabel Mendoza
Major: Economics and Data Science double major

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: The QSA minor sits right at the intersection of my two majors, giving me the opportunity to take classes that delve deeper into social science topics I’m interested in while sharpening the quantitative methods I learned in the data science major.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: I think the minor is helpful for everyone, regardless of their future plans. The courses develop critical thinking across disciplines and teach important quantitative skills that can be useful for analysis in any field.

Post-graduation plans: I’ll be working as an investment banking analyst.

Favorite minor class: My favorite class was STAT 36900, Applied Longitudinal Analysis. This graduate-level class introduced me to more advanced statistical concepts and applied the theory to real-world examples in public health, a very interesting field that I didn’t have much experience with prior to the course.

Things to share with future minors: As the QSA minor is very interdisciplinary, everyone can tailor it to their own interests. I’d encourage students to not be afraid to take classes in new fields, to explore multiple areas and see how experiences in one discipline can inform others.


Juliana Mothersbaugh
Major: Public Policy Studies

Additional minor: Romance Languages & Literatures (Spanish)

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: After taking Social Science Inquiry my very first quarter, I became fascinated by the task of designing empirical research strategies to address the questions that I was interested in. QSA was an excellent way for me to specialize in learning how to conduct quality social scientific research as an undergraduate.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: The skills I focused on developing in the QSA minor – the programming languages, statistical methods, and experimental design abilities – have been essential to my internships and research experience as an undergraduate, and will serve as the foundation of my future career in research.

Post-graduation plans: Pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of American Politics at Yale University before going on to graduate studies.

Favorite minor class: If I had to choose only one, Public Opinion with John Brehm!

Things to share with future minorsPlease avail yourself of as many of the classes on the QSA list as possible – count them towards your major, if you can – and don’t be intimidated by classes which mix graduate and undergraduate students. Professors appreciate eagerness to challenge yourself and engage with the ideas of the course more than they value perfection, and these classes will be invaluable exposures to material which will push you beyond the conventional and advance your thinking.

Bola Ogbara
Major: Neuroscience

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: I was first interested in the Quantitative Social Analysis minor because I wanted more experience with data analysis. After taking my first class in the minor, I was fascinated to learn about the many means of data analysis in subjects I previously thought only had qualitative analysis, and was inspired to continue by the real-life impact of these quantitative findings.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: The QSA minor required me to think critically about how studies are conducted, what types of analyses are appropriate in different situations, and how to extract relevant statistics (and interpret them). These skills will be useful as I pursue research but are also valuable in many other spaces.

Post-graduation plans: At the moment, I am looking for research positions in neuroscience/psychology labs, but I am still open to other positions and am eager to use the skills I’ve gained.

Favorite minor class: I really enjoyed all of my QSA classes, so I can’t say that I have a favorite!

Things to share with future minors: There are so many areas where the skills you gain from this minor may be useful. Don’t be afraid to explore several subjects when choosing your classes!


Songyang Zhang
Major: Psychology

Reasons for pursuing the QSA minor: I decide to take QSA minor because I want to learn more quantitative & statistical methods to psychological research.

How will the minor aid/carry through to future pursuits: Having more quantitative background and data analysis skill.

Post-graduation plans: I am going to pursue PhD in Management & Organizations at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, continuing research in micro organizational behavior.

Favorite minor class: My favorite minor class is Principle and Method of Measurement!

Things to share with future minors: Plan the minor early so you don’t have to worry about course requirement before graduation